How long until the hair falls out after laser hair removal?
We receive this question daily. How long will it take for the hair to fall out after performing laser hair removal?
Hair shedding typically initiates approximately 7 to 14 days following your initial laser hair removal session.
One cosmetic procedure that has become quite popular in recent years is laser hair removal. This process can only be categorised as a process of a device that emits IPL light. The light gets absorbed by the melanin in the hair. This light or light energy gets converted to heat. In turn, the heat damages hair follicles within the skin, which inhibits or delays hair growth.
While this technology and procedure are by no means new, many questions and misconceptions are doing the rounds. So much so that some potential buyers who wish to undergo the process might be hesitant to go for it. However, for those looking at the procedure, we have outlined some important information below that ranges from what to expect from the procedure and tips on finding an excellent laser hair removal machine.
What to Expect from Laser Hair Removal?
Dusan Sekulic M.D told us that the laser hair removal process uses a laser to emit light into the melanin on the hair, which becomes energy that converts to heat and damages the follicles. When done correctly on a good candidate, the process will minimise any need to pluck, shave, and wax unwanted hair growth. However, once the hair follicle is permanently damaged, it will be unable to grow any new hair.
It is important to note that hair grows at an average of about .5 inches per month and grows in cycles that range from 4 to 10 weeks. For example, facial hair takes about four weeks, while legs could take 8 to 10 weeks. Because of this cycle, experts recommend laser hair removal for several sessions spaced out evenly across several months. If somebody promises you that all hair will fall out after one session, that is a scam, and it is advised you take your business elsewhere.
The Human Hair Growth Cycle
To better understand how laser hair removal works and how it will work for you, it’s also essential to learn how hair grows. The hair must be in its growing stage for laser hair removal to work. The laser will move through the hair follicle and damage it as intended during this stage.
Next, we have the catagen stage before the hair falls out. No lasers are needed. The Catagen stage is simply something that hair does at some point in its life cycle. Lastly, we have the telogen stage, also known as the resting stage. The resting stage is when the hair doesn’t grow or develop under the skin and cannot be treated by laser hair removal as there is no hair.
Different people will have different cycles because these stages are all dictated by a person’s hormones, age, natural hair growth process etc. Also, each hair follicle isn’t exactly always on the same growth cycle as the ones around it, so several sessions are needed to get as much hair as possible treated with laser light.
Some experts will even advise potential clients to wait a full four weeks to start treatment if they have undergone waxing procedures or have shaved.
Expectations from Laser Hair Removal
After completing the laser hair removal using the Bareskin Kit, the hair follicles will start to come out within 7-30 days. At this stage, some people may panic or assume that the procedure failed to work because of the redness and ingrown hair-like bumps on the treated areas. However, it hasn't failed at all. Instead, the body pushes the hair out of the follicle and sometimes gets trapped.
Should hair growth occur at this point, using tweezers to pluck them out is not recommended? Instead, the dead hairs can be dealt with using a gentle scrub, and if needed, cortisone will help with any redness or irritation. No matter what length, the hair strands should fall out. If they don't, the body will work to expel them naturally.
Patience is a virtue when getting laser hair removal because it typically takes 5-14 days and may continue to fall out for weeks afterwards.
Post Laser Hair Removal Tips
While you are patiently waiting out the 5-14 days period for the hair on the treated area to fall out, you can do quite a few things to ensure comfort.
Please see the tips below:
- Do not pick, pluck, squeeze or tread the area being lasered. Be patient as the hair will fall out on its own, and doing any of the previously mentioned hair removals might irritate the skin.
- Remember to avoid sun exposure. Protect the area from direct sunlight for a few days. If you were to go out, you need to use sunscreen with a high SPF. You do this to prevent pigmentation changes and reduce the risk of sun damage.
- Skip hot baths and showers for a few days. Avoid hot baths, showers, saunas, and hot tubs for at least 48 hours after the treatment. If you need to bathe, we advise using lukewarm water.
- Please avoid harsh skincare products. You must skip the more harsher skin products. Avoid any products that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), retinoids, or benzoyl peroxide. These products will irritate your skin if you have just undergone a laser hair removal.
- Moisturise the area to keep your skin supple and healthy. It is best to ask your doctor for recommendations on this, and they may even carry skincare products, especially after using laser hair removal.
- If you want to speed up the shedding process between treatments, you can exfoliate but do so gently with a loofah or a washcloth to avoid irritating your skin.
- After treatments, wearing loose cotton clothing is also recommended as your skin may be a bit tender. It is best to avoid irritating the treated areas.
- Please keep hydrated. Drink plenty of water to support healing and keep your skin hydrated.
- Make sure you are well-informed and comfortable at all stages of the laser hair removal process. As a customer, you need to be very discerning and make sure that the device you choose has all the necessary credentials.
Make sure you ask many questions and inquire about post-treatment care services. Another thing you will want to do is ask about the type of lasers they use so you and your service provider can discuss which ones will suit you best and offer you the best and safest results.
If hair removal is something you are keen on and want permanent results, the good news is that laser hair removal works on all hair lengths. It is also a safe process that will bring excellent results for extended periods.
This article has been medically reviewed by: Dr. Walters (MD)